Haiti: Help one, Help many


Thanks to all the generous donors of this campaign, Edisson was able to start his training program in Cruise Ship Hospitality in August 2017 at the OceanLink Maritime Training Institute (OMTI) in Les Cayes, Haiti. His progress was remarkable: By the end of February 2018 he had completed his English and hospitality classes and a 3-month internship as a waiter and barman in a hotel of Les Cayes. The final step of the program is to get the certificates in Basic Safety Training mandatory to work on ships. Because no such training facility exists in Haiti, The OMTI has an arrangement with Bluewater Crew Training in Florida, and Edisson was due to fly there with his 30 fellow students in March 2018. Unfortunately they were all denied US entry visas and could not get their safety training.

OMTI had to seek another training centre and stuck an agreement with LJM Maritime Academy in Nassau, Bahamas. The second set back came two days before the students were due to fly to Nassau, on June 21, 2018. The Haitian authorities shut down OMTI and prevented the staff and students to leave. This was in response to a few students lodging in court an official complaint against OMTI regarding the fact that they were not going to Florida as originally agreed, and demanding that their tuition be refunded. Because of this unjustified complaint, the school has been effectively paralyzed ever since, with no resolution in sight.

Imagine the disappointment for Edisson and his family who rested so much hope for a better life on his shoulders! I feel that I cannot give up now and I want to help him get a job on a cruise ship anyway.

The first goal is to give Edisson a smartphone and computer so he has internet access to learn more about cruise ship jobs, take online courses, write his résumé, apply for jobs and have online job interviews. The second goal is to raise enough money for him to go to Nassau and take the basic safety training by himself. This is why I have raised the goal of this campaign to $10000. This will provide the cost of the travel, training and stay in Nassau.

On the bright side, Edisson has now a better command of English and holds certificates showing that he has completed the hospitality training and that he has experience as a waiter/barman.  Please help Edisson realize his dream of getting a job and helping his family and give him some hope after this devastating setback.



My name is Patricia Egli and I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. Over three years ago, while on a boat trip around Hispaniola, my husband and I stopped in Île-à-Vache on the southern shore of Haiti.

There we met Edisson who offered to guide us for an afternoon walk across the island. On the way he said hello to a couple of young men. When asked he said “they are my friends, I wish I was going with them”.
It turned out that his friends were going to school and he did not because he had not enough money to pay for the remainder of the school year. We gave him the $25 he needed.

20-years old, Edisson was finishing junior high school. Like many in Haiti, he did not go to school regularly because of lack of funds, but he was very keen to continue his education. However there is no high school on Île-à-Vache. I decided to personally sponsoring Edisson by paying his tuition at a high school in Les Cayes, the city on the mainland across from the island. During these 4 years, Edisson has demonstrated remarkable perseverance, determination and commitment to learning.

in September 2016, Edisson told me that he had discovered a training program for a good job in the cruise ship industry. He believed that this program is the fastest way he could start earning money to support his family: his mother, four sisters and two brothers. As Edisson is the only one that has reached this level of education, he is the best hope for the family. I decided to do my best to make this plan a reality.

I started this fund raising campaign and Edisson was able to start the program in August 2017.  Little did we know that changes in  US immigration policies would end up derailing our plans!


Patricia Egli
Halifax, NS

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